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Timely Travel Tips

So you’ve done the hard part and booked your vacation, nailed down the dates, let your employers know when you’re leaving, and circled that date in bold red ink on the calendar that hangs on the kitchen wall. 

So you’ve done the hard part and booked your vacation, nailed down the dates, let your employers know when you’re leaving, and circled that date in bold red ink on the calendar that hangs on the kitchen wall. You have our compliments for getting that part out of the way.  Now, as you stare at those circles on your calendar, they loom ever larger…and you realize it’s time to get serious about preparing for your vacation!

As a child, my family traveled quite a bit due to my father’s career in tourism and media. I grew up in a family that wryly referred to me as the “Tour Director,” due to my expectations of vacation plans being sacrosanct and set in stone. My father was our family’s location scout, and he always had printed itineraries with scheduled visits to historical sights, rock caverns, mountaintops and more for the day trips he planned. My mother was the list mistress, and would begin each of her lists days before we left for vacation so that nothing was missed or forgotten. All told, we were no hapless family of Griswolds…we were prepared for our vacations!

As a lifelong traveler, I’ve learned more than a few tips to help make vacations trouble-free and less stressful. Some of these may seem obvious, but you may find nuggets of gold in the tips I’ve outlined below.

  1. You WILL forget something.  Let’s get that out of the way now. Let’s hope it was only that new pair of hoop earrings and not your passport.
  2. If you would shed emotional, physical or financial tears over the loss of an item, leave it at home!
  3. Leave a relative or neighbor your travel plan information (like flight numbers, hotel or resort locations, when you are suppose to return, etc.) in case of an emergency.
  4. Those comfy, but hideously ugly shoes you have hiding in the back of your closet that you try not to let fashionistas or hip office buddies know you own?  Pack them. NOW. Sure they’re ugly, but for treks through nature preserves or pounding the pavement “in search of,” those shoes may be your new best friend.
  5. Research, research, research! Check out websites such as travel blogs, websites dedicated to your destination choice, local calendar of events (we have terrific ones for Hilton Head Island, Branson, and Ormond Beach), and also sites that provide other travelers’ feedback on restaurants, nightlife, family activities and so forth.
  6. Budget! Once you have a vacation game plan which includes activities or restaurants that are on a “Do Not Miss” list, you can budget more precisely to include those among the ones you’ll likely discover once you’ve arrived. 
  7. Ask a local! Don’t be shy… locals know where all the best spots are, and chances are they’ll know something about your vacation location that’s not written about in the tourist brochures or websites. You may discover a spot that you’ll always return to on future vacation visits. Have a question about Hilton Head? Email me.
  8. If you do bring valuables like laptops, tablets, or digital cameras, don’t leave them in the car. N’uff said.

Lastly, let me share with you the most important travel tip of all—Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy yourself! Relax, discover new places and things, and fill your days and nights with the joys of vacation memories made.

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